Welcome to East Central Alberta Catholic School career counseling website! The purpose of this site is to centralize websites and information that will be useful to you as you begin, continue, or complete, your search for a career or post-secondary program. You may be familiar with many of these sites. If you are new to this process, each section has an explanation attached to it. Please take the time to read through the information carefully.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask your school career counselor, a teacher or an administrator for help in finding the information you require.
"The best career advice given to the young is: Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it."
Alberta Diploma Requirements
A full time student is defined by Alberta Learning as one who carries a yearly average of 35 credits through high school. In order to graduate a student in the East Central Alberta Catholic School Division is expected to meet minimum Alberta Diploma Requirements.
ALBERTA DIPLOMA REQUIREMENTS
The Alberta High School Diploma is awarded to students who meet the following requirements:
1. Earn a minimum of 100 credits.
2. Successfully complete the following courses and the appropriate pre-requisites:
English 30-1 or 30-2
Social Studies 30-1 or 30-2
Math 20-1, 20-2, 20-3
Science 20 or 24, Biology 20, Chemistry 20 or Physics 20
3. Successfully complete the following requirements:
Physical Education 10 (3 or 5 credits)
Career and Life Management (3 credits)
10 credits from Career and Technology Studies (CTS) or Fine Arts or Second Languages or Physcial Education 20/30.
10 credits in any 30-level courses in addition to English 30-1 or English 30-2 and Social Studies 30-1 or Social Studies 30-2.
Any high school student who wishes to make a course change must do so through the front office. Students wishing to make a course change may do so only after consultation with the subject teacher, counselor and the parent. Final approval for any course change must be obtained through school administration, and all necessary paperwork must be completed.
A minimum mark of 50% is required to earn credits for any high school course. No credits will be awarded to a mark lower than 50%
Apprenticeship training has certainly been an under appreciated sector by Career Counselor's in the past...but no more! Alberta's industries are hungry for technical skill sets that only come with apprenticeship training. For students who are superior "hands on" learners, an apprenticeship is an excellent choice! As well, salaries in trades continue to rise while they stagnate in other areas...
An apprenticeship is a post-secondary education program that combines work experience, on-the-job and technical training. Once you choose a trade you must find a Journeyman willing to sponsor you as an apprentice. Your training period can last between one and four years, depending on the trade chosen. 80% of an apprentice’s education takes place on the job and the remaining 20% is done at an approved college or technical institution. Apprentices are required to write an industry exam at the end of each period of training. When the student has met all the requirements of the program, a journeyman certificate is granted.
This is a link to a step by step tip sheet to become an apprentice.
This is a link that will take you to a list of all recognized trades in Alberta...the number of trades that you can choose from is quite stunning!
In order to enter into an apprenticeship you must be employed by a company with a journeyman willing to mentor you. This requires some job hunting on your part. You can begin this process in high school by enrolling in the Registered Apprenticeship Program. For more information, click on:
http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca/learn-on-the-job/who-can-learn-a-trade/registered-apprenticeship-program/ or talk to your school administrator about how you can get involved.
Each trade will have a list of the minimum high school courses that must be completed before you are eligible for their program. If you do not meet the minimum requirements, you may write an entrance exam through the apprenticeship board. If you are interested in writing this exam, click on the following link and spend some time reviewing the study guide supplied by the Apprenticeship Board.
"Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come."
Sometimes it is easier to research career information when you have a bit of a road map to follow. The course links on this page are Career and Technology Studies courses related to Career Transition and Expansion...otherwise known as CTR2310 and CTR3310. CTR2310 is usually completed by grade eleven students and CTR3310 is geared towards grade twelve students finalizing their post-high school plans. If you are not accessing these credits as part of your designated timetable, you will need to let your counselor or administrator know you would like to pursue one or more of these courses.
The CTR2310 is usually done once you have taken the Strong Interest Inventory, but can be completed using the results of any interest survey. Check with your CALM teacher, counselor and principal for an appropriate survey.
Click this link if you want to access CTR2310.
An open house is an opportunity for you to visit a college or university for one day. This day is used as a recruitment strategy by the institution. However, attending an open house at a college or university is an effective way to help you gather information when making a post-secondary decision. First hand information, campus tours, and establishing a connection with someone at the institution are all part of an open house experience.
Most open houses are held in the spring or the fall and dates can vary from institution to institution.
Check the "IMPORTANT DATES' website for open house dates while this page is under construction. Attached to the "Open House" webpage is a "Dates at a Glance" poster. This poster has information regarding deadlines for applications, contact information, etc., for the institutions listed below.
Alberta College of Art and Design:
Ambrose University College
Bow Valley College
Concordia University College of Alberta
Grande Prairie Regional College
Grant MacEwan University
Medicine Hat College
Mount Royal University
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Northern Lakes College
Red Deer College
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
St. Mary's University College
The King's University College
University of Alberta
University of Calgary
University of Lethbridge
Strong Interest Inventory
What is the Strong Interest Inventory?
For over 80 years, the Strong Interest Inventory has helped students and employees in their search for a rich and fulfilling career. The Strong Interest Inventory has been updated to ensure it's relevance in the twenty-first century.
The Strong measures your interest in a broad range of occupations, work activities, leisure activities, and school subjects. The questionnaire compares how these interests are similar to the interests of people successfully employed in those occupations. It is used to help people understand their work interests and to illustrate the kinds of careers in which they might be most satisfied.
In order to take this inventory, you must make arrangements through your school. If you are interested in taking this inventory, talk to your CALM teacher, counselor or principal. Since this inventory is provided by a private company, there may be a fee payable to your school.
If you have been given a user name and password to access the Strong Interest Inventory, please click on the link that will lead you to your school's log in site. Once you have completed the inventory, you will review your report results with a teacher trained to use this inventory.
This is a sample of a Strong Interest Inventory High School Edition report:
The Apply Alberta system was put in place to simplify the post-secondary application system for students applying to colleges and universities in Alberta. Students can apply to multiple institutions using information they input only once. This is a secure government website so any information inputted is safe. This is important because there are application fees that must be paid to the post-secondary institutions, usually using a credit card.
Convenience aside, one of the benefits of using the Apply Alberta website is that you can order your official transcripts to be sent to the institutions you are applying to, for FREE! Ordering the transcripts is a part of the process that students and parents struggle with and this site walks you through a step by step ordering process.
Before you begin this process, obtain an updated Course Mark Inquiry (CMI) from your teacher, counselor or principal. This CMI contains all of the courses and credits you have achieved in high school, as well as your student number. You will also need a copy of your latest report card if you wish to enter any midtermmarks.
This link will connect you to the Apply Alberta home page:
This link will connect you with a list of participating post-secondary schools:
This link will connect you with the step by step application process...there is even a video explaining the process!
When you make an account on the Apply Alberta website, make sure you save your user name and password in a place you will be able to access it when you need it.
Admission requirements vary from institution to institution and program to program. Post-secondary institutions may change their requirements from year to year, so updated information is essential when you are making decisions about which high school courses to focus on. Use the following links to find out what you need to apply for admission at the listed Alberta post-secondary institutions. Once you are in the website, look for headings that say " prerequisites" or "admission requirements". Prerequisites for programs are also listed in the occupational profiles page of the ALIS website.
There are many post-secondary institutions outside of Alberta that are affordable, offer excellent programs, and offer wonderful experiences. Your post-secondary choice is only limited by your imagination and your budget.
"Think not of yourself as the architect of you career but as the sculptor. Expect to have to do a lot of hard hammering and chiseling and scraping and polishing."
Where do I find Career Information?
Finding updated information about potential careers you may be interested in is easy, thanks to the the Government of Alberta. The Alberta Learning Information System (ALIS) will provide you with the information needed when making decisions about careers and the training necessary achieve employment in a profession that interests you. This website contains information on career planning, scholarships, occupations in Alberta, post-secondary programs and the application process. This site is well worth taking the time to investigate. ALIS focuses on Alberta institutions and job information.
The section that we wish to draw your attention to is the section called occupational profiles. This section describes the duties, working conditions,personality traits, educational requirements, salaries and possible employment prospects. There are hundreds of occupations to explore.
Click on this link: http://alis.alberta.ca/occinfo/Content/RequestAction.asp?format=html&aspAction=GetHomePage&Page=Home and it will take you to the occupational information pages in the ALIS website.
Once you click on the link and enter the website, choose the letter that corresponds with the occupation you want to read about or you can type in the name. As you scroll through the webpage you have chosen, be sure to click on any links you find. Sometimes there are videos or suggestions of related professions.
"To be successful, the first thing you have to do is fall in love with your work."
Sister Mary Lauretta
Where do we find Scholarships?
Education is expensive. Many parents start saving for their child's education early and can pay for all or part of it, reducing or eliminating the need for student debt. Many students work during high school, saving a portion of their income for higher education.
You can find scholarships, bursaries or grants you are eligible for and it is worthwhile to apply for them. As opposed to student loans, this is money you don't have to pay back!
Scholarship opportunities can be found in many different places. Looking for scholarships offered by the institutions you want to apply to is usually a good starting point. Students coming out of high school are eligible for early enrollment scholarships or scholarships pertaining to your area of interest.
The myth that scholarships are only available to students with a high academic averages has long been "busted." Many scholarships require students to demonstrate a strong volunteer spirit and community involvement. If you spend time volunteering, then you should track and record your experiences as there are scholarships out there for you.
Scholarships can have very specific parameters. For example, scholarships may be available only to students who live in a certain area of the province. They can even be specific to children of parents who belong to certain organizations or places of employment.
Listed below are some links to websites with information pertaining to scholarships offered in the province of Alberta.
1. The ALEXANDER RUTHERFORD SCHOLARSHIP is available to all students in Alberta as long as they meet the criteria described in the link below.
2. This link will take you to the scholarship information supplied by the ALIS website. If you type in a keyword or indicate with the dropbox that you are a high school student, it will sort the scholarships "somewhat." Click on each scholarship link to see the specific criteria of the scholarship offered.
3. The Student Awards link will take you to a site where you can create a profile and they will sort scholarship offerings for you based on your profile information. Once they start sending you info there is still a fair bit of sorting to do...
4. For students who want to enter a trade, this website will give you information about scholarships available to you. Many of the grants, bursaries and scholarships are sorted according to a specific trade. The second link is for a printable guide to what "free money" is available for students entering a trade. This booklet is handy if you want to make notes as you investigate!
5. Alberta's post-secondary institutions offer scholarships to students entering their school. Once you decide which school you wish to attend, follow the appropriate link and start applying!
"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work,
the more I have of it."